Date: 8th May 2012 at 9:44am
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It`s something of an open secret that current Arsenal assistant Manager Pat Rice will take to the Arsenal dugout for the last time this Sunday prior to hanging up his short shorts. An announcement had been expected from the club last week, prior to the last home game of the season against Norwich. I would guess (I don`t know) that Rice didn`t want the fanfare.

However, the ever reliable We Are The North Bank and arseblog news are reporting that Steve Bould will be announced as Rice`s replacement imminently. This would certainly chime with the noises I`ve been hearing, as I speculated in this piece I wrote three weeks ago . Bould had been sounded out about the job last summer when Rice originally looked to retire due to a chronic knee complaint. It was understood the job was Bould`s to turn down.

We Are The North Bank revealed that club legend Tony Adams had also applied for the role, but Wenger favoured Bould due to the eleven years he has already spent on the Gunners coaching staff, having overseen the development of the likes of Wilshere, Frimpong and Gibbs. We Are the North Bank are also reporting that Reserves manager Neil Banfield will be promoted to First Team Coach. Boro Primorac is also nearing retirement and will likely take a reduced role. It`s yet to be seen who would backfill Banfield and Bould`s current roles, but there maybe scope for ex Arsenal players such as Keown and Adams who have professed an interest in coaching roles.

There`s nothing official from the club as yet, but according to the very trustworthy sources quoted, it`s a mere formality that will be executed in the coming days. LD.